The "real" Cookie is named Sophia Eggleston. Like Cookie Lyon, she was a drug kingpin who went to jail and has an affinity for fur coats. Eggleston wrote a memoir called The Hidden Hand in 2011 and claims she met with screenwriter Rita Miller about turning her story into a show -- and supposedly Miller was going to pitch the idea to Empire creator Lee Daniels.
In the copyright suit, it says of their similarities, "Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail. So did plaintiff Eggleston. Cookie is released from jail confinement and immediately places a hit on a certain individual. Plaintiff . . . actually was jailed for doing the actual hit on a man.” The kicker is Eggleston goes on to say in the suit, "There is no possibility the similarities are . . . mere coincidence. Defendants had access to and a copy of her book."
Daniels and his co-creator/writer Danny Strong have refused to comment -- but have said in the past that they came up with the idea for Empire after hearing a radio interview about Sean Combs and wanted to make a hip hop King Lear. And personally? I think Eggleston sounds a little nuts. She told Page Six, "The whole city’s been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me."
You know what? Everyone told me I was just like Carrie on Sex and the City because I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and had a writing career. I promise you that I would not have won any law suits against Sarah Jessica Parker. I also think that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who DIDN'T want to be Cookie -- she's bold, brazen and fabulous. I'm sure Sophia Eggleston is too but as someone who also has fraud on her rap sheet, I think these coincidences are just that, Boo Boo Kitty!
Image via Empirefox/Instagram